What should independent hoteliers do to reassert themselves in the customer journey to get in front of travel consumers and win the direct booking?

To begin with, independent hoteliers must understand that digital marketing consists of three distinct, but interdependent categories: Guest Engagement Marketing, Guest Acquisition Marketing, and Guest Retention Marketing.

Second, independents must “play” in all of these three categories: Not in one or two, but in all three categories. Only then they will be able to re-establish relationship with the digitally-savvy customer in all phases of the customer journey: Dreaming, Planning, Booking, Experiencing and Sharing and win the direct booking, resulting in decreased OTA dependency and lower distribution costs.

Related: How independent hotels plan to use distribution channels